Can body image issues be serious?
We live in a world that can often be obsessed with unrealistic standards of beauty and obsession over diet culture. This can have a harmful effect on a person’s body image, self-worth and mental health — no matter a person’s age, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity.
Around 30% of young people say they’re extremely, or very, concerned about their body image
Body image issues can impact on your mental and physical health
It’s normal to have moments where you may feel dissatisfied, unhappy or uncomfortable in your own body. But if you find these feelings increasing or intensifying, a more serious issue may be developing; and you may become more at risk of engaging in unhealthy and unhelpful behaviours around food, exercise and supplements — all of which can impact on your mental and physical health.
Why is body image important?
Poor body image can lead to:
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessively thinking about your body and appearance
- Putting too much emphasis on your weight, shape or size
- Frequently comparing your body and appearance with other people
- Changes to your eating and exercise behaviours in an attempt to change your weight or muscularity
- Withdrawing from things you enjoy, like sports and social activities
- Relationship changes with your friends, family members and intimate partners
- Other mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety
- Engaging in risky and harmful behaviours, such as smoking, abusing substances or increased sexual activity